VA (or vaginal atrophy) is an uncomfortable but common condition of menopause affecting over 4.5 million post-menopausal Canadian women. VA is a common, treatable condition where the vaginal walls become thin, fragile and inflamed due to a reduction of estrogen, otherwise known as estrogen deficiency. VA is characterized by symptoms of burning, itching, dryness, irritation and painful intercourse.

What causes VA?

VA often happens during menopause as our hormone levels change. The loss of estrogen causes changes to the vaginal environment. When there is less estrogen circulating in our bodies, the vaginal tissues become thinner, drier, and less elastic, and the vagina itself can become shorter and narrower. These changes are a normal part of aging, but they can lead to uncomfortable symptoms.

How is VA affecting post-menopausal Canadian women?

The Canadian results from a recent international survey revealed both the physical and emotional impact of VA:

  • Almost half of Canadian respondents (48%) had experienced VA since they stopped menstruating, most commonly experiencing vaginal dryness (88%)
  • 82% of Canadian women agree that vaginal atrophy would have a negative impact on their life, including sexual intimacy, yet only seven per cent are aware of the condition
  • 24% of women felt less attractive as a result of VA
  • 44% of women said VA made them feel old
  • 66% of women avoided sexual intimacy fearing it is too painful
  • 30% of women were most likely to agree that due to VA, they worry that sex will be less satisfying
  • Almost 3/4 of women agreed that VA can have negative consequences on a woman's sex life
  • As well, 30% of women felt VA would have an overall negative impact on quality of life

It's not temporary

Unlike temporary symptoms of menopause (like hot flashes), VA will not go away on its own. In fact, it can continue throughout life. Don't ignore the symptoms. By recognizing that there is a problem, you can get the help you need, and fast. Your doctor or healthcare professional can tell you about mess-free treatment options that can help. Don't suffer in silence.

Start talking VA!

How do you know if you have VA?

Any of these symptoms sound familiar? Which ones have you experienced?

  • Burning (while urinating or not)
  • Itching
  • Dryness
  • Vaginal irritation
  • Painful intercourse
  • Light bleeding after sex
  • A clear or watery discharge
  • Urgency with urination
  • Urinary incontinence (leaking)
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • I don't think I have any of these symptoms.

 

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3 in 4

women agree VA can have negative consequences on a woman's sex life

Take the first Step

Make an appointment to talk to your doctor or healthcare professional today.